By Olga Herrera, Spanish Teacher
Over spring break, eight Prep freshmen and sophomores will participate in Prep’s fourth annual Barcelona Student Exchange with Sant Lluís School. Thanks to the ambassadorial efforts of Spanish teacher and Barcelona native Olga Herrera Aragón, Prep has established a relationship with the Col.legi Sant Lluis, a K-10 school in a Barcelona neighborhood that prepares students for university.
Our students will stay with their host students’ families, study and practice Spanish through Spanish lessons, science labs, and art classes, learn about the history and culture of Barcelona, and enjoy the many wonders of architect Antoni Gaudí. There will be field trips, as well, to the Olympic Museum, Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, the open-air Modernist market La Boqueria, the Roman ruins, the Gothic Quarter, and the Picasso Museum. Day trips will include Montserrat, Girona, Figueres and Dalí’s Museum, and, of course, a pilgrimage to the Club Barça Stadium. Being teenagers, our students will also enjoy shopping at local malls, learning new dance moves and singing karaoke tunes with their Spanish companions.
Our students’ counterparts from the Col.legi Sant Lluis will visit Prep April 21- 30 and stay with our students’ families. Some of the activities being planned include horseback riding in Cerrillos, trips to Tent Rocks, Bandelier, Chimayo, and Taos Pueblo, and visits to the New Mexico History Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, Palace of the Governors, and the Loretto Chapel.
According to former Assistant Head of School Stephanie Schlanger, who along with Herrera accompanied the students to Barcelona the first year, “Our students were superb ambassadors, both for Prep and our country. The families they stayed with were impressed with their friendliness, courtesy and eagerness to speak Spanish and experience everything Barcelona had to offer. The relationships our students formed with their Spanish families will last a lifetime.”
Olga Herrera Aragón would like to thank the many families who believe in her vision and have fully supported the Barcelona Student Exchange for the past four years. “Being with my own students in my hometown, seeing them figure out how to communicate in Spanish, and watching them marvel at everything is touching. They get to experience a new culture, they open their eyes to the world, and they get to appreciate everything they have learned in class on a deeper level. This exchange is the best gift our school could ever give them.”